Recent Death of a Dear Friend

PeteThe recent death of a dear friend makes me pause to realize how easily death comes to us, how swiftly and unexpectantly we can return to the earth from which we came.  Therefore, I am compelled to urge that we should recognize life as a precious gift to be used wisely and not squandered frivolously.  Stripped of God’s spirit, our bodies return to dust.  Stripped of God’s purpose, our work is in vain.  Stripped of God’s love, our service is futile.  We must put God first over all we do and in all we do because without him we have nothing.  Knowing that life is futile without God motivates the wise person to seek HIM first.  God’s purpose for telling us “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” is to help us develop, through our experiences in this life, His holy and righteous character, and to prepare us to rule under Christ as kings and priests on this earth (Revelation 5:10).

What's on the Inside?

A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard.  Suddenly, the light turned yellow just in front of him.  He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.  As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.  The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.  He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.  After a couple of hours, Detective Ardilla approached the cell and opened the door.  She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake.  You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him.  I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do?' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.  Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."

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Is Jesus the Lord of Your Life?

“The reason you may not be seeing more of God’s rescue and deliverance in your life is because you may have Jesus positioned as your Savior, but not as your Lord.  And you may not have positioned yourself as His servant.  The book of Romans opens up with these words, “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ ….” (Romans 1:1).  A bondservant is translated from “doulos” which literally means “slave.”  The job of a slave is to do whatever the Master says to do.  It’s as straight-forward as that.

Unfortunately today, Jesus has too many other masters in most of our lives with whom He has to compete.  The important thing to remember is that Jesus is not willing to be one among many.  He is not willing to be part of an association or club.  Neither is He willing to be relegated to a personal assistant.  Jesus as Lord means that Jesus is to be the one and only supreme ruler and master in your life.  He calls the shots, and He is to be acknowledged in everything that is done.  “Too many people want a Savior, but don’t want a Lord.  Because of this, numbers of individuals today are experiencing the result of denying Christ publicly.” – Tony Evans

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Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

I want to say a great big THANK YOU to Connie and Mike Skultety, and to all the rest of you who donate Bibles and money for Bibles to the Hopkins County Jail.  I truly appreciate all the love and support that you give me, the staff, and the inmates.

Love,

Pete

Lemon Pepper Catfish

I’ve been reading the book “The End of Me” by Kyle Idleman.  In the first half he speaks about being a Pharisee in these modern times, about how Pharisees love and admire themselves, and about how they buy their own hype and miss the message.  The main message is we need to die to self, and live for Christ.  So, I’ve been thinking about Pharisees, testimony, and humblebragging.  It’s a good book, especially pages 66 and 67.  With these things bouncing around in my head I went to the Western Kentucky Presbytery meeting in Mayfield last Saturday and apparently was distracted in thought.  I’m not sure if it was some state of transcendentalism or the lemon pepper catfish I had for lunch, but I got the impression that some of the attendees have failed to read the Book of John, especially John 6:44 and 14:6, and that some in attendance may be Unitarian Universalists.  When the General Assembly eliminated the ordination barriers, I sat uncomfortably by and when the GA blessed same gender marriage, I became a bit more disturbed.  Now I find it hard to believe that Christians think they can reason their way around the truth that Jesus is the only way to the Father and the kingdom of Heaven.  When the Israelites left God behind and followed the gods of other nations, God withheld His grace and mercy.  Could this be why our nation and the world are in such chaos today?

On the Inside,

Pete

We're Baaack!

August is here.  Time for youth group, choir, and Bible study to resume.  Hopefully you had a great relaxing summer with trips to the mountains, the coast, and points outside of Hopkins County.  It is again time to live out Christ’s presence in our neighborhood.  It’s time to assess our gifts and match them with the needs of our community.  I know that Christ is calling us to use our strengths in particular ways for particular reasons.  He is calling us to reach out in ways we could never imagine.  What do you believe you can do to help in stewardship, mission, fellowship and worship?  We have many opportunities for you to participate if you are willing to ask God to give you guidance and direction.  How about dreaming, planning, and implementing outreach and evangelism?  How about engaging every member to carry out the mission of FPC.  You remember: "To know Jesus as Lord and Savior and make Him known."  Do you ask the Holy Spirit to check your spiritual pulse and get you interested and involved in the needs, desires, and challenges of our congregation?

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Did You Hear About...?

May I ruffle your feathers?

I too often hear that Jesus had to forgive Peter three times because Peter denied Jesus three times.  Interesting.  I have on good authority that Jesus died for us so we could be forgiven once and for all.  Long before we read John 21, Jesus had forgiven Peter.  In John 21:15-17, Jesus was commissioning Peter to feed the lambs - those new believers who needed nurturing, to take care of my sheep by pastoring the flock, and to feed my sheep by continuing to guide and direct even the older sheep.  Some of my Baptist friends tell me Peter spoke Greek because Jesus asked Peter, "Do you AGAPE me," and Peter replied, "I PHILIOS you."  My understanding is that Peter spoke Aramaic, and could neither read nor write.  I currently hear that a gentleman in town believes I baptize incorrectly because I repeat the words of Christ, baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and not in the name of Jesus only.  I have heard that the Great Banquet has become the Great Testimony and Salvation Show and that 260 West McLaughlin Ave is their church building.  I have heard that our church is dying and when it finally takes its last breath so it will be.  I have heard that the mission of First Presbyterian is "To know Jesus as Lord and Savior and to make Him known."  I hear a lot.

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